[Skip to content] [Skip to main navigation] [Skip to user navigation] [Skip to global search] [Accessibility information] [Contact us]

Previous Next
of 426 items

Spend a charming evening at the Horniman

Bring your charms to Magic Late at the Horniman and have them photographed. They could become part of our anecdotal collection of modern charms. 

Charms are fascinating objects that appear in different cultures around the world all throughout history.

We will have the whole of our English charm collection on display at our upcoming Magic Late event on 13 October.

This includes everything from this witch’s bottle from Padstow in Cornwall, which was an antidote to supposed witchcraft…

  • Witch's bottle, Witch's bottle from the Horniman's English charm collection
    Witch's bottle from the Horniman's English charm collection

…to this mole’s foot, which was believed to cure cramp.

  • Mole's foot, A mole's foot from the Horniman's English charm collection
    A mole's foot from the Horniman's English charm collection

Our Anthropology Curator, Tom Crowley, will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about these fascinating objects.

We also want to explore charms that are still used today.

That’s where you come in!

Do you carry a charm around with you? You might not think of it as a charm – it could be a lucky pair of socks, a friendship bracelet, a ring that reminds you of a loved one, a special photograph, or a teddy bear.

  • Teddy bear charm, This teddy bear charm was brought in during a Lewisham Young Carers visit to the Museum.
    This teddy bear charm was brought in during a Lewisham Young Carers visit to the Museum.

If you have an object which has memories or special feelings attached to it, we would love to see it! Bring your ‘charms’ along to the museum. We will have a photographer on site, so you will be able to add a photo or description of your charm to the Horniman collection.

Find out more about Magic Late.

Specimen of the Month: The Glyptodon

Emma-Louise Nicholls, our Deputy Keeper of Natural History, is looking into the world of the Glyptodon for her Specimen of the Month series.

A Glypto-what?

This beautiful model shows what Glyptodon (a type of Glyptodont) would have looked like, and is available to enthusiastic viewers in the Natural History Gallery. You’d be forgiven for assuming it was a huge great tortoise, but the hair gives it away as a mammal.

Early descriptions of Glyptodonts were made by some of the most famous palaeontologists in history, including Richard Owen (who invented the word dinosaur, and was almost single-handedly responsible for the Natural History Museum in London) and Thomas Henry Huxley, who worked side-by-side with Charles Darwin and helped to spread the word of the theory of evolution.

But when these initial scientific descriptions were being recorded in the mid-1800s, the affinity of Glyptodont had many guises. Descriptions included ‘feet of a hippo’, ‘skull of a sloth’, ‘shell of an armadillo’, ‘teeth of a capybara’, and a more general statement that described Glyptodonts as something between a rhinoceros and a giant ground sloth (Megatherium). I can’t see either of those myself but we have to remember early specimens weren’t complete and that the animated film Ice Age only came out in 2002. Glyptodon’s closest living relative is in fact the armadillo.

  • The Glyptodon, Our Glyptodon scale model is 1/12th actual size and was made by Edward Vernon.
    Our Glyptodon scale model is 1/12th actual size and was made by Edward Vernon.

Learn more about Edward Vernon, who made our model.

Perturbing pesky predators

In the mid-1800s a voyage to South America came back with two full boxes of bone fragments from a river deposit in Uruguay. These boxes were eventually emptied onto the desk of a curator at the Natural History Museum in Paris and took ‘four months of constant toil’ to piece back together. Once done however, the curator found themself looking at the huge shell of a Glyptodon.

The shell and bony coverings from elsewhere on the body could weigh up to 400kg, which meant Glyptodonts were lugging around a quarter of their body weight in armour plating. There are those among us that find Medieval Role Play on a Sunday afternoon a great deal of fun, but for a wild animal the energy cost of wearing this suit of armour is too great for it to be for anything other than pure necessity. Voracious predators were indeed stalking around the underbrush during the Pleistocene and an un-armoured Glyptodont would have had its goose cooked before it could say 'Which way to the Amazon?'

  • The Glyptodon shell, This rosette shaped fossil fragment shows part of the huge mosaic of interlocking hexagons that would have formed the huge dome shell of Glyptodon.
    This rosette shaped fossil fragment shows part of the huge mosaic of interlocking hexagons that would have formed the huge dome shell of Glyptodon.

Why stop there?

In two of the largest Pleistocene species, a number of small gaps left by the traditional spread of Glyptodont shielding were protected by bonus armour plates. As these are only present on species that appeared later in the geological timeline, it is reasonable to suggest they’re adaptations to the evolution of larger carnivores than their predecessors had to contend with. Indeed, the largest land predators ever to have inhabited South America lived during this time. Poor Glyptodonts.

As you can see on our model Glyptodon had a heavily armoured tail. A number of other Glyptodont species thought this wasn’t enough however, and decided to evolve a huge club on the end. Clever scientific bods have worked out that an adult Glyptodont with a 40kg tail club could smack into a predator at speeds of up 12 metres per second. In a fight with another Glyptodont, that blow had the power to shatter the armour of the adversary.

My advice as a professional scientist? Don’t mess with a Glyptodont.

  • Illustration of the Glyptodont, What did I say? Don't mess with a Glyptodont. Even if you have teeth as big as your face. Images used with kind permission from The Field Museum, Chicago., (c) The Field Museum, GEO80218 through GEO80221
    What did I say? Don't mess with a Glyptodont. Even if you have teeth as big as your face. Images used with kind permission from The Field Museum, Chicago., (c) The Field Museum, GEO80218 through GEO80221

Slow but steady

Most Glyptodon specimens have been found in Patagonia and Argentina. 

Despite its appearance as a lumbering cumbersome animal, the fossil record shows it managed to venture as far as North America on occasion. Presumably they managed this courtesy of the handy bridge of land that popped up in Panama during the Pleistocene. The same bridge of land in Panama that connects North America to South America in the modern day.


Alfredo Eduardo Zuritaa, A. E., Soibelzonb, L. H., Soibelzonb, E., Gasparinib, G. M., Cenizoc, M. M., and Arzanid, H. (2010). Accessory protection structures in Glyptodon Owen (Xenarthra, Cingulata, Glyptodontidae). Annales de Paléontologie 96 (1) pp.1-11

Benton, M. J. (2005). Vertebrate Palaeontology, Third Edition. Oxford, Blackwell Science Ltd pp.317-318.

Gould, C. N. (1928). The Fossil Glyptodon in the Frederick Gravel Beds. Oklahoma Geological Survey pp.148-150

Hubbe, A., Vasconcelos, A. G., Vilaboim, L., Karmann, I., and Neves, N. (2011). Chronological Distribution of Brazilian Glyptodon sp. Remains: A Direct 14C Date for a Specimen from Iporanga, São Paulo, Brazil. Radiocarbon 53 (1) pp.13–19

Huxley, T. H. (1864). On the Osteology of the Genus Glyptodon. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 155 pp.31-70

Zurita, A. E., Miño-Boilini, A. R., Soibelzon, E., Scillato-Yané, G. J., Gasparini, G. M., and Paredes-Ríos, F. (2009). First Record and Description of an Exceptional Unborn Specimen of Cingulata Glyptodontidae: Glyptodon Owen (Xenarthra). Comptes Rendus Palevol. 8 (6) pp.573–578

Community Learning hits the Bullseye

Our Community Learning Volunteer, Jingsi Wang, tells us about her summer placement at the Horniman.

‘If you visited the Horniman this summer, you might have seen someone carrying a magnetic board and asking families to take part in a survey – that was me.

My student work placement at the Horniman was spent with the Community Learning Department helping to complete an evaluation for the summer activity sessions.

There were five different activity sessions in the 2016 summer programme: Horniman Explorers, A World of Stories, Big Wednesdays, Horniman Wildlife and Art and Craft.

How did I do the evaluation?

To evaluate the session, I collected the opinions and feedback from families taking part. Our focus was on the learning outcomes of each session – whether people gained a closer connection with the Horniman’s collections and whether they learnt about different cultures and the wider world.

To see if these learning objections were achieved, we came up with two evaluation methods: Bullseye and the Inspiration Wall.


Bullseye was the main method of evaluation. It was a large piece of paper with a black-and-white bullseye pattern stuck onto a magnetic board. The disc was divided into six equal sections and each section represented one question or statement from our learning objectives.

Visitors used magnets as their ‘darts’ on the disc. On a scale of one to five – one is the top and five is the lowest – the closer they put the magnets to the centre, the more they enjoyed themselves.

Inspiration Wall

Some learning objections can’t be examined by scoring, for instance, there’s one which is ‘encouraging curiosity and self-led discovery’. This is where the Inspiration Wall played its part. The Inspiration Wall is a flipchart board with an open-ended question on the top. People were invited to write their answers on the paper.


We tried to ensure that each session was evaluated equally. Now the summer has come to an end, all the statistics will be analysed to help us understand the strengths and limitations of the learning outcomes.

People at the Horniman are really nice and helpful – both visitors and everyone in the office and I was happy to experience every session of the whole summer programme during this evaluation. I learnt a lot during the process, such as the importance of adjusting and always having a Plan B. The best part of this student placement is that I was given the opportunity to put theory into practice and get a deeper understanding of how it feels to work in a museum.

I have had various volunteering experiences before but this is my first time doing something so specific, focused and consistent in a museum. This summer has shown me the whole process of the initiating, growing and completing the evaluation of the summer programme at the Horniman, from the very beginning until the end – a challenging yet worthwhile task.

I always say that I could not think of any better way to spend my summer than doing my student placement here at the Horniman. This summer may have come to an end, but it is really just another beginning!’

Find out more about how you can volunteer at the Horniman

Making History: Horniman Youth Panel and Patrick Hough

The Horniman Youth Panel set out to explore how Egyptian culture and history is represented in Hollywood Movies.

We learned to think critically about the film props in these movies while having a chance to experiment with script writing, directing voice acting and basic filmmaking techniques with the video artist Patrick Hough.

The workshop began with a brief introduction to Patrick’s artistic practice, looking at early photography on Hollywood film sets in Morocco, to newer video works that use film props and green screen backdrops. We then briefly looked at a range of short clips from films depicting Egypt, ranging from the fantastical to the historically accurate and discussed the visual elements from the sets, costumes and props, lighting while comparing and contrasting the different ways Egypt has been shown on film.

Later on, we worked with real physical film props loaned from a London prop house that are used in Egyptian movies. We explored their different material qualities – comparing them to the amazing Ancient Egyptian objects in our Hands on Base. We also discussed the varying degrees of accuracy these objects have in portraying cultures.

Finally, we broke up into two groups to develop a short script together. We were given a chance to create our own short film scene that gave a voice to the film prop and placed it in a theatrical context.

Participants directed the voice acting, choose the camera angles, light the scene and create direction notes for the editor.

Here are the final results – we hope you like them!

Find out how you can get involved with our Youth Panel

Summer Raffle winners

Check your tickets! We're announcing the winners of the 2016 Summer Raffle.

  • Summer Raffle winners, Our raffle and fundraising activities help us produce free events such as our popular Horniman Carnival.
    Our raffle and fundraising activities help us produce free events such as our popular Horniman Carnival.

A very big thank you to all those who bought raffle tickets during this summers’ Festival of Brasil and helped support the charitable work of the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

We raised an amazing £2,625 which will support our educational programmes, the conservation of our collections, the maintenance of our buildings and will help us to programme more fantastic free events in future.

The ten lucky winners are:

Meet the Animals – Wendy Klein (07961)
Behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium – Sue Henderson (08468)
A free Family Membership – Raj Joneja (06643)
Family ticket to Dinosaurs: Monster Families – Joolz (08919)
£50 voucher for the Café – Fernando (07991)
Cuddly Walrus – Kirsty (06639); Andrew Eastham (07943); Viv (08707); Paul Williams (06893); Margaret (06875)

To claim your prize please contact fundraising@horniman.ac.uk. All winners must provide the tickets listed above as proof of purchase.

Find out more about supporting the Horniman, including details of our Membership scheme.

Rhinos on the Clock

Today, 22 September, is World Rhino Day. Our Deputy Keeper of Natural History, Emma-Louise Nicholls, explains why the Sumatran rhino is nearly extinct.

Countless species are being driven to extinction by both deliberate and accidental human activity, but extinction is not something we invented. Nature has been selecting species for the bin for hundreds of millions of years. The story of the Sumatran rhino’s demise has a big hairy foot in both of these pies. Whilst the biggest threats to their continuation on the planet are poaching and habitat loss, Mother Nature also seems to be holding up a red card.

Less than 100 Sumatran rhinos made it to see-in the year 2016. Malaysia now has a wild rhino population of zero, and only three in captivity. Indonesia is fairing slightly better but around 90 individuals is far from a healthy population for a planet the size of ours. The last expat Sumatran rhino, called Harapan (meaning Hope), lived in Cincinnati Zoo but was relocated to Sumatra in 2015. And with that heavy-laden trans-Pacific flight, no Sumatran rhinos existed outside of Indonesia or Malaysia.

  • Harapan and Emi, Baby Harapan and his mother Emi at Cincinatti Zoo, Creative Commons
    Baby Harapan and his mother Emi at Cincinatti Zoo, Creative Commons

Mean Old Mother Nature

If you’ve ever had trouble with romance (who hasn’t), Sumatran rhinos can definitely empathise. As a species they are secretive and solitary, and so if two should have the very good fortune of running into each other in the forest (given how rare they are, the chances are automatically low), the first response would likely be aggression. Even if it’s a male and female and the circumstantial rendezvous has potential for the pitter-patter of tiny three-toed feet, the meeting is still likely to rapidly descend into biting and sparring.

With most animal species, when a male or female is ready to ‘settle down’ (if only for five minutes or so) there will be displays of courtship, nest making, or physical signs on/in the body that the time is right. But for Sumatran rhinos, romance is a bore and little if any flirtatious behaviour exists to let the other rhino know of their intentions. An approaching member of the opposite sex is as likely to horn you in the ribs as to ask for your number.

Why does Mother Nature make it so hard for them? Ahhh she’s not even done there I’m afraid. Sumatran rhinos are induced ovulators. This means that a female needs to mate in order for her body to wake up and begin to prepare itself for making a baby, and thus she needs to mate again to actually conceive. By which time, the one and only male rhino that has come along in the last six months is long gone, probably for at least another six months. In species that are induced ovulators, if ovulation does not occur relatively regularly, cysts will start to grow in the womb which can cause real problems when trying to produce offspring. What this basically means is that even if a female Sumatran rhino finds a mate in the wild, she probably won’t conceive anyway.

  • Hairy beast, They say chest hair is sexy, how can they not want to breed?, Creative Commons
    They say chest hair is sexy, how can they not want to breed?, Creative Commons

Intervention of a Good Kind

In the 1980s, rhino specialists (the only job title I want besides my own) put their qualified heads together and agreed a captive breeding programme should be initiated (hence the aforementioned departure of Harapan from Cincinnati Zoo). So began the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia where rhinos live in a semi-wild (but heavily guarded) area of Way Kambas National Park. A number of highly skilled, extremely motivated, and well-armed individuals called the Rhino Protection Unit protect this crash (collective noun for rhinos) from poachers. The most recent birth at the SRS was that of a little girl in May 2016, and boy oh boy is she a cutie.

The short-term goals of the SRS are to produce as many mini rhinos as possible, as well as to increase our knowledge of their biology and behaviour. The long term goal (best case scenario) is to release a healthy population of rhinos back into the wild. However this obviously requires mankind embarking on a new age of global enlightenment regarding traditional medicines, meaning each released rhino won’t walk their horn straight into a poacher’s duffel bag if left un-guarded. But with education on the rise, and Prince William on their side, we can still hope for this future.

  • Ratu and baby, Ratu and her baby resting at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary , Creative Commons
    Ratu and her baby resting at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary , Creative Commons


Hance, J. (2015). Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah. [Online]. Available at: https://news.mongabay.com/2015/04/officials-sumatran-rhino-is-extinct-in-the-wild-in-sabah/ [Accessed 16th September 2016]

Payne, J. (2016). Tragic death of Sumatran Rhino points to the need for a single species recovery programme. [Online] Available at: http://www.borneorhinoalliance.org/resources/comment/tragic-death-of-sumatran-rhino-points-to-the-need-for-a-single-species-recovery-programme/ [Accessed 14th September 2016]

Save the Rhino (2015). Sumatran rhino Harapan embarks on new life in Indonesia. [Online] Available at: https://www.savetherhino.org/latest_news/news/1374_sumatran_rhino_harapan_embarks_on_new_life_in_indonesia [Accessed 21st September 2016].

Save the Rhino (No date). Indonesian Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. [Online] Available at: https://www.savetherhino.org/asia_programmes/sumatran_rhino_sanctuary_indonesia [Accessed 16th September 2016].

Save the Rhino (No date). Indonesia: RPU Programme. [Online] Available at: https://www.savetherhino.org/asia_programmes/rpu_programme_indonesia [Accessed 16th September 2016].

Save the Rhino (No date). The challenges of breeding Sumatran rhinos. [Online] Available at: https://www.savetherhino.org/asia_programmes/sumatran_rhino_sanctuary_indonesia/the_challenges_of_breeding_sumatran_rhinos [Accessed 15th September 2016].

Save the Rhino (No date). An heir and a spare. [Online] Available at: https://www.savetherhino.org/asia_programmes/sumatran_rhino_sanctuary_indonesia/stories_from_the_field/an_heir_and_a_spare [Accessed 21st September 2016].

Schaffer, N. E., Zainal-Zahari, N. E., Suri, M. S. M., Jainudeen, M. R., and Jeyendran, R. S. 1994. Ultrasonography of the Reproductive Anatomy in the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 25 (3): 337-348

Dinosaur Cherry on a Prehistoric Cake

Our Deputy Keeper of Natural History, Emma Nicholls, uses her expert eyes to examine the Velociraptor sculpture in our Prehistoric Garden. 

Over the last few months the super green-fingered Gardeners at the Horniman have created a landscape full of plants from the Cretaceous period. Now starting to flourish, the Prehistoric Garden is looking stunning. To top the Prehistoric Garden off, in August of this year we became home to a permanent installation of the most exciting kind- a stylised Velociraptor dinosaur.

  • Velociraptor  , The (r)awesome new addition to our Prehistoric Garden.
    The (r)awesome new addition to our Prehistoric Garden.

Velociraptors rose to fame in the 1993 timeless classic Jurassic Park, in which they are portrayed as scaly, scary, two metre tall monsters intent on feeding beyond stomach capacity and learning how to open doors. In reality Velociraptor was only about half a metre in height and most likely covered in feathers. Whilst pretty certain, the presence of feathers is an extrapolation from other fossil discoveries, and hasn’t been proven for sure. However our Velociraptor is skeletal so the choice of ‘to feather or not to feather’, was not something we needed to worry about.

Our Velociraptor was generously funded by an anonymous donor, for which we are incredibly grateful. It started life as a number of large 8 mm steel sheets, from which the raptor’s parts were cut and then welded together by Neil Bowen of Lakeland Steel. Now fully assembled in the Prehistoric Garden, it measures an impressive 1.5 m in height. It is therefore around three times life size and an imposing addition to our gardeners’ latest masterpiece.

  • Velociraptor, Upside down and in pieces
    Upside down and in pieces

When the Velociraptor first arrived it was deep silver in colour but we are letting it weather to a beautiful tan brown. Exposed to the elements, the mild steel corrodes at around 1 mm a year. Those of you quick at maths will have calculated that in 8 years’ time our Velociraptor will therefore be a pile of twinkling dust, but that’s only if we leave it untreated. Once corroded to the perfect tan colour, Head Gardener Wes Shaw will coat it in a protective sealant to protect the steel from further degradation.

  • Velociraptor, Before and after shots show how our Velociraptor is turning a lovely brown as the steel reacts with the elements.
    Before and after shots show how our Velociraptor is turning a lovely brown as the steel reacts with the elements.

I think it’s fair to say that no-one really wants an unsteady two metre steel Velociraptor wobbling around in the wind, so to keep its impressive bulk steady its feet were literally nailed to the floor. It has large steel plates beneath its feet which have been set in the ground with giant metal tent pegs. A large rock between its feet completed the task. So don’t worry, although it looks fearsome, it’s safe to visit… there won’t be any fearsome steel dinosaurs rampaging down the hill any time soon.

  • Velociraptor, The large steel plates beneath the feet of our Velociraptor.
    The large steel plates beneath the feet of our Velociraptor.

Have you visited our Prehistoric Garden yet? Tell us what you think and share you photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #horniman.  

Visit our Dinosaurs: Monster Families exhibition - on display until 30 October 2016. 

Volunteering with Community Engagement

What is Community Engagement and why is it important for Museums? Our volunteer Holly investigates. 

Community Engagement is an important part of the work the Horniman does to ensure it is an accessible and inclusive place for all. So when there was a space for a volunteer on the Community Engagement training day, I jumped at the chance to attend.

The day is designed to equip community group leaders with the skills required to confidently lead visits to the museum and run projects or activities linked to the collection. It was useful to hear the group leaders explain what they would need to run a successful session, as well as seeing how the Horniman is able to shape its services to accommodate the needs of community groups. This flexibility is essential; each community group has differing requirements, and fixed offerings typically won’t work for every group.

During the training day we had to think on our feet and test our creativity. In the Hands on Base we explored the large collection of objects available for visitors to handle. In the galleries we designed our own themed tour of the museum, including potential activities, for a community group visit. These activities encouraged us to identify questions and opinions about objects, make connections between objects, and create our own journey through the museum.

  • The Stroke Association group explores musical instruments, This community group are exploring talking drums in the Hands on Base.
    This community group are exploring talking drums in the Hands on Base.

As a volunteer, I learnt more about how the museum works and gained an insight into the community groups it partners with. This has increased my confidence as a volunteer, giving me new ideas on how to present the objects in the handling collection and how to engage visitors.

Since completing the training, I’ve volunteered at several Community Engagement sessions and no two sessions are alike. Participating in a costume workshop, making Carnival crowns with the Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation, was a great excuse to explore my own creativity while volunteering. I quickly realised there’s countless ways to make a Carnival crown, and just as many ways to learn from other people’s creative ingenuity.

  • Volunteering with Community Engagement, Colourful Brazilian crowns made during community group activity sessions were then worn at the Horniman Carnival on 4 September.
    Colourful Brazilian crowns made during community group activity sessions were then worn at the Horniman Carnival on 4 September.

At a Redstart Arts artist-led exhibit, I got to help showcase the participating artists’ work which was inspired by the Horniman’s collection. Seeing the artworks side by side with the objects that inspired them encourages visitors to see both in a different way. It connects people with the collection, making the objects more accessible sources of inspiration - something to interact with and not only see on display. It also helps to show the many ways people experience the museum and engage with the collections.

  • Redstart, This Redstart Arts workshop saw community groups making sculptures inspired by the Horniman collection.
    This Redstart Arts workshop saw community groups making sculptures inspired by the Horniman collection.

While each session is different, there have been a few constants from my experiences with Community Engagement. I’ve met a wide range of people including the community groups, museum staff, local artists and volunteers working with the groups. It’s an enjoyable way to improve my confidence and volunteering ability, and a great insight into how museums can help change people’s lives.

Find out more about volunteering at the Horniman. 

Animal in Focus: Daisy the sheep

Every month, the Animal Keepers want to introduce you to a member of their extended family, and this month’s animal anarchist is Daisy, the Ouessant sheep!

Ouessants are French and are reported to be the smallest breed of sheep in the world! Visitors to the Animal Walk often mistake Daisy for a lamb, when in fact she is 3 years old, the same age as the rest of the herd, and is a fully mature adult ewe.

Daisy may be small, but she has a BIG attitude!

She is hooves down the loudest animal at the Horniman, and when she starts off a baaing chorus, all the others tend to join in and attempt, and fail to out shout her! Despite her small stature, Daisy is the first to start fights, but is rarely the one to finish them (George, the white faced woodland sheep dominates in that department!).

Ouessants originate from the Ile de Ouessant in Brittany. It has been suggested that this breed of sheep is so small because there was very poor grazing on the island, which led to the selection of small sheep for breeding, and further domestication has maintained this trait! The islanders spun and wore the wool for their clothes and textiles.

The horns of the rams are very heavy, curl forward and terminate in sharp, outward turning tips. Ouessant ewes are polled, which means that they have no horns. This physical difference between the two sexes is called sexual dimorphism.

Rumour has it that the Ouessant breed descended from a Viking breed carried on board their ships and left behind on conquered lands, and Daisy definitely has the personality of a conqueror, just not the physical ability!

Come visit the Animal Walk and meet Daisy and the rest of our rare breed sheep that share her paddocks!

The Animal Walk is open each day from 12.30pm to 4pm and entry is free.

Afghani kite-making at the museum

This summer we held a kite-making workshop in association with one of our community partners, Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers. The leader of our workshop, Ahmadzia, tells us more about this fun event. 

My name is Ahmadzia and I am a kite maker from Afghanistan. On the 27 July I had the pleasure of being invited to lead a workshop on kite-making at the Horniman.

It was a beautiful summers day and the wind was great for kite flying. I was happy to see that many people came to the workshop, both children and adults.

At the start of the workshop I gave a quick introduction to the making of kites and then everyone had a chance to make their own. We used lots of different coloured paper to make each kite unique and personal.

We then took our kites to the top of the hill in the beautiful Horniman Gardens and all flew them together.

Kite making and flying is a traditional pastime in Afghanistan, where I was born. Kite fliers of all ages come together to display the kites they have made and sometimes even compete against each other by trying to cut down each other's kites.

To see more of me making and flying a kite watch this short film.

GUDIPARAN from Nima Shahmalekpur on Vimeo.

Previous Next
of 426 items